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Great if they don't bar you as soon as you enter the building!
Member Name: xxfoxyredxx
Date: 15/01/08, updated on 15/01/08 (298 review reads)
Advantages: Great food and cosy
Disadvantages: Very slow service and over priced drinks
Brown's is a family run establishment, 2 minutes walk from the City Centre and situated in the heart of student bars and a stones throw away from Coventry University. The bar moved several years back from the heart of the city during a revamp and now we call it the new Brown's although its been where it is for something like 7 years lol
The bar is known for many reasons. Good and bad. Its known for its food, the live entertainment and djs. Known for over priced drinks, not so good staff and an unusual door policy to say the least.
I have been visiting Browns on and off for 15 years now. Off mainly! I got kicked out when I was 20 with a female friend having a meal. I'd been served already and was eating outside on the terrace when the daughter's owner came across and requested my ID and me having none on me as I was a regular customer (what made matters worse is that I wasn't even drinking but I genuinely was legal and above board and so was my friend) We had to leave our meals and it took me a few years to ever go back after that.
However I did go back. Next visit was at night time. I was engaged and out with my then fiance and another couple. We had gone out sober and decided to go see some live entertainment and ahave a couple of beers. We stood in a massive queue for ages and these big burly bouncers came up to where we were standing and took out about 12 of us as random. The party in front of us were couples as well and a bit older than we were at the time. They questioned it and were told to Fu** off in no uncertain terms, that no meant no and we could all get lost! Which we did.
I never did go back to where the bar was at the time after that even though I loved the food and used to go for meals with my mum in the day a lot before these incidents occurred.
Not only do I say this about the bar but it has also hit our local headlines in the Evening Telegraph quite often but no so much of late. There always used to be complaints and one inparticular that stands out in my mind was a guy that was in a wheelchair that had been refused entry for apparently no reason. Black people too accused the bar of racism.
Generally the problems seem to occur at night and not in the day. I have started to go to Brown's for early evening dinners with friends and not had a problem. Though I wouldn't want to go at night, though I have stayed in there till late after going in there early. It's the type of bar you'll having a good time, you step outside for a fag, turn to go back in and all your stuff is still inside and they'll refuse you back in for no apparent reason lol Everyone knows this so its not as relaxed as it could be lol So it doesn't have a great reputation.
Brick built, large and futuristic. Lots of windows, particular upstairs. Downstairs has a huge board black boards listing all the dishes on for that day. Lots of variety such as salmon in butter sauce, chicken and prawn pasta, lasagna, duck in plum sauce, lamb shanks, pork and bramley apple. There are an equal number of vegetarian dishes to the meat eaters ones and at least 3 vegan dishes every day. All served with either salad and 2 pasta salads or 2 fresh vegetables of your choice. Roast potatoes, garlic potatoes or new boiled. Prices are £5.49-£6.49 depending on your choice. I have to big up the vegetarian dishes. Me and my friends always have something from this as it is varied and colourful and much thought has gone into it. Their vegetarian chick pea Moussaka is devine! I'm yet to have a bad meal here though the portion sizes can be quite small and the food not as hot as I would like it to be. It is fresh though and nothing has that 'pinged' feel to it or that it's been sat around for hours. Lots of condiments about and all it all its not bad valuefor the types of food they are selling. Not a great choice of desserts and I couldn't comment on them as I haven't tried them..yet lol
The drinks are overpriced. There are never special drinks offers on and last time I went there with my family a pint was £3.50 and my step dad was furious. Soft drinks are not a lot cheaper. Best bet is there teas and coffee and a cup of coffee will set you back about £1.75 and I must say it is lovely! The bar however is well stocked but you need to be careful to get an English speaking person serving you, particularly if your having food as its complicated to order one meal anyway with remembering what your having and what you want with it etc. I was in a party and it was a nightmare to order from the girl who was serving us and our meals all got mixed up. The bar is very well stocked though and for a student style bar stocks some great champagnes and wines. Although the night time crowd are mainly students in the day you still get quite a few 'suits' as it isn't far from where all out banks and building society's are.
The place inside is very pleasant indeed. Its a big place so not all the seating is squished together. In the windows there are a couple of unusual slouch chairs and large over sized brown leather sofas, the tables are all dark wood and adorned with tea lights. I lived in london and this reminds me of some of the decent barsi would frequent. The seating is a mixture of benches and seats. All in all it has a very warm cosy feel and not like your being watched by anyone. However you need to get there reasonably early to get seats downstairs to eat as they tend to get a lot of parties of people in who like a bottle of wine and to stay the evening and after all this is a bar not a restaurant so if you want to stay sitting you can your not moved on.
Downstairs near the bar is the kitchen and the toilets. The cubicles are clean and nothing special. It has one disabled loo as well. I'm not sure whether there is a lift upstairs for wheelchair users as I have no need to know but upstairs, is like downstairs and still well laid out and you get there by a wide open staircase. overall the bar is as I stated earlier very modern.
The whole place is very clean looking. It's full of students (as I'm sure I have mentioned lol) and very well manned in the way of security so if your an older person who feels intimidated by the youth of today there is no need to feel that way here. You don't get louts doing moonies and misbehaving they get thrown out! This is a more elegant establishment than many in Coventry believe me! Food is served till 10pm every night (though saying that they do run out of stuff).
Entertainment wise. Live music is on most nights. Indie music mainly and I think its great! They did open till 2am but they've stopped that and turned the music down and no flashing lights thank goodness! There is no dance-floor, people just hang around listening. There are djs on at the weekend and a fee on the door is applied for some events depending on what time you go in etc. It does get busy and there are queues and price depends on who is on. Its around £5.00 entry I think.
I do enjoy a meal there with my friends in fact I'm going there later this week. We do feel safe there and its not a pulling joint and we can relax and chat as it isn't overlry loud. Bad point is no smoking area outside at all.
Unfortunetely I cant over recommend it. I did once and my friends went and couldn't get in. No idea why as it doesnt even have a dress code in the day and at night its just no baseball caps.?! However if your willin to risk it, its a slightly overpriced joint with interesting food!
Shame the staff here so hit and miss and shame the place has a bad reputation for being mean. Other than that if you do get in, it's lovely and down to earth and the food is heartly recoomended by me, my family and all my mates lol Just enter with caution and dont draw attention to yourself lol
Summary: Can't recommend it, you may not get in but if your around give it a go!
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